Building The Super Petrel XP
The Super Petrel XP is for Scoda Aeronautica in Ipeuna Brazil, the “Next Gen” evolution of the tried and proven classic Light Sport Amphibious Aircraft. However, this new aircraft, didn’t happen overnight. In 2014, the Super Petrel LS was authorized by the FAA to be sold in the USA as a “Special Light Sport” aircraft. This authorization came after a visit by the FAA to the Scoda Aeronautica factory in Brazil. Since then, more than 50 Super Petrel’s have arrived in the US and found homes here. Let’s talk about building the Super Petrel XP
In 2015, the 915iS Rotax engine was first publicly displayed at AirVenture in Oshkosh Wisconsin. That same year, Mr. Fernando Abbud and Mr. Rodrigo Scoda secretly began the project to make major changes to the aircraft. With the 915iS being heavier and much more powerful, the fuselage was then redesigned for the new aircraft.
It was to be a Super Petrel, just much more sleek and beautiful. Initially their time and efforts where directed toward the design and testing of the most efficient and elegant, full composite upper and lower wings.
Most all aircraft designers will tell you the same thing, “start with the engine and build the aircraft around it”.
In 2017, Scoda received a new 915iS engine to begin the R&D program. First thing to consider was the additional 30 pounds of engine weight. So, they designed the engine location a few inches forward and closer to the CG datum line (the aircraft axels). Now, how to harness all the additional power ?
The Super Petrel has always had a three bladed propeller system providing the most efficient combination of HP and Thrust. With the new 915iS 141 HP engine, three blades just did not prove to be the best solution, so the decision to go to a 5 bladed propeller system began moving forward. Even with a 5 blade propeller system, the actual blade angles needed to be set much higher than any other engine ever installed in the Super Petrel aircraft.
Keep in mind, the LSA rules for Special Light Sport aircraft limits the aircraft speed to 120 kts. There are other E-LSA aircraft using the 915iS engine and seeing speeds in excess of 165 kts. However, those aircraft are “Experimental”.
Scoda Aeronautica had a list of objectives to meet with the new design. One of which was to be able to take advantage of the FAA 650 kg max operating weight for amphibious aircraft (1,430 lbs) on land and on water. This was accomplished by adding ten (10) inches to the length for the fuselage. Shortening of the tail boom compensated for the additional fuselage length so the over all aircraft length is the same.
Another objective was to make the aircraft as aerodynamically clean as possible. Get rid of ‘DRAG”. The fuselage is much cleaner with the change from having doors to a canopy. Another design change to reduce drag was to eliminate one of the three wing struts to only two. Since the full composite wing is designed with more strength and rigidity, no need for the third strut, end result, less drag.
One other major change was to relocate the baggage compartment header tank behind the aft wall. This increases the baggage compartment capacity. There are now two header tanks behind that back wall. This adds another 5 US gallons of fuel for a total usable of 29 gallons.
Removing the “Johnson Bar” to operate the mechanical landing gear added more head room and gives the aircraft a flat floor. The hydraulic operated/electric actuated landing gear requires far less moving parts. This new landing gear was tested for over 3 years at Scoda Aeronautica. In a “non-normal” situation, the system has an integrated gas spring. This allows the gear to be lowered to the down and locked position by actuating the emergency gear down valve.
In 20+ years of manufacturing the LS version, there were over 400 upgrades, modifications and improvements. I am confident that the XP will be no different. Scoda Aeronautica is driven by their passion to make the Super Petrel XP the absolute best aircraft in its class.
Click here for info on how to buy the new Super Petrel XP